Saturday, May 28, 2016

A gorgeous day in Bath

It seems that Memorial Day weekend is the  beginning of the summer season in many places. That seems to be the case here in Bath, Maine. We began the day at Waterfront Park and Dock.

Here is a panoramic shot of the bridge from the Park looking south. 

In the distance is Bath Iron Works where they build ships. Recently the Navy acquired a huge ship and it is there being worked on. Here is the GIANT crane that is being used. I took this photo last night as we walked up on the bridge. 

We were just early enough this morning to find a parking space close to the waterfront although it would have only taken us 10 - 15 minutes to walk from home. The day was gorgeous and very warm.

Here are a few photos of the park and dock.






I can't believe that I didn't get any pictures of the Adirondack chairs that are all around like the park benches. Anyway, can you see the tents in the background of some of the above pictures? The Bath Farmer's Market was at the park. 

I love Farmer's Markets and this one did not disappoint me.

When we first got to the market, a vendor was cooking some sweet sausage and offering samples. We went back later to buy a package and I was surprised to find it was sweet turkey sausage. 

Have you ever had a rugelach? The vendor told me it was Jewish. A cream cheese dough with cinnamon, sugar, and ground walnuts. We only bought one to share and it was incredibly delicious! 

The other market purchase was two blueberry hand pies. We are in Maine so we have to eat blueberries! I love blueberry anything!
We ate these with our lunch - sooooo good!

Usually when we go the farmer's markets, we buy vegetables and more vegetables. Right now, we seem to have plenty in our fridge so today we splurged on treats!

After the market, we headed a block away to Front street. There are many shops and a great grocery store. At the very end of the street, you can see that huge crane at Bath Iron Works. We looked for Mariner's Compass Quilt Shop but found that is has closed it's storefront and is now online only.

After looking in a few shops and visiting with some locals, we walked a few blocks to Halcyon Yarn - a great shop. I think I had  sensory overload - there were so many beautiful yarns! I bought one small skein of pale blue Swans Island Organic yarn handcrafted in Maine. 

The temperature was in the mid 80s - with lots of sun - so we took a break and then late this afternoon we headed for a nature preserve. We were going to do a little hiking...but we took a wrong turn. We were on the right road but going south instead of north. When we figured it out, we were close to the beach which, we now know, is where MANY people went today.

Tonight we had pizza for dinner - it was a brand new way of making pizza but I figured it would work. I used tortillas, covered with tomato/pizza sauce that I made using tomato powder, water, and some homemade Italian seasoning. We added some thin slices of some cheese we had - provolone and colby jack - and then the cooked turkey sausage. I baked it at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes. It was quite good! I'm so glad that we carry some provisions with us. This is what is left.

Tomorrow is supposed to be much cooler. We plan on heading north to the nature preserve. I think we both know which way to turn at the corner now!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Maine!

Today is granddaughter Ivy's birthday. She is a little doll. We just talked to her and she feels very grown up at the ripe old age of 5! 

We are in Bath, Maine. As we entered the state, the first buildings I saw were pale yellow with white trim - just like I thought Maine would look! We left New Hampshire early this morning and arrived in Freeport, Maine before lunch. It looked like we'd be in rain all day but we haven't seen any moisture since last night. 

We had to stop at LL Bean and look around. 

Then we had lunch at Linda Bean's Maine Kitchen. We were about half done eating when Ray asked why I hadn't taken a picture of our lunch. So I took a couple then. He had a lobster roll and I had a naan with mozzarella, tomatoes, spinach, and a basil pesto. We both had their homemade chips. It was a great lunch!


The town of Freeport is full of outlet stores and today it was full of people - it is a holiday weekend! We arrived early enough to find a parking spot and enjoyed look around.

We arrived in Bath around 2 PM. Our rental is an apartment in an 1800's building. It is clean and modern and a very welcome change from our last place. The neighborhood is welcoming and walkable. We've been to the grocery store - it was a little zooey but what would you expect on this Friday afternoon?! After dinner, we plan to take a walk.

In New Hampshire, we stayed at Warm and Cheery Carriage House in Bethlehem, an airbnb rental. The owners were very responsive to questions and the place had been nicely painted but there were numerous issues including: the building was is serious need of some renovation/repair, the place had that 'old' odor, and things were not as clean as we would have liked. It is not a place we'd recommend.

We did have a great time in New Hampshire and the White Mountains. It is a beautiful state.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Basin and more

Today we went to The Basin. On the way, heading south on 93, we passed this mountain with many ski slopes. Did you notice the beautiful weather?!

First stop was The Basin. It was a short walk but there was white water everywhere!


It wasn't just one run - I'm not sure you can see the water to the left.

And then it was like a luge track! The stone was worn smooth and very rounded.

Another view of the 'luge' area

Next was a small waterfall

and then The Basin.

From the sign: The Basin  
This large pothole in the Pemigewasset River, 30 feet in diameter and 15 feet deep, had its beginning some 25,000 years ago as the Ice Age came to a close. Water flowing from the melting glacier that filled Franconia Notch eroded the solid granite bedrock. During the thousands of years that followed sand and stones were whirled around by the force of the river causing a boring action that left the sidewalls smooth. …
      The great American naturalist Henry David Thoreau, on his first trip to the White Mountains in September of 1839 stood here, as you do, and watched the water cascade into the granite bowl and whirlpool around its walls. He would later write in his Journal, “this pothole is perhaps the most remarkable curiosity of its kind in New England.”
      Samuel Eastman in his 1858 White Mountain Guide called this spot “One of the beautiful haunts of Nature, a luxurious and delicious bath fit for the ablutions of a goddess.”

As we headed back to the parking lot, we saw another small waterfall.

Many of the trees are just budding out.

We arrived at the handicapped viewing area above The Basin so we were able to look down at it.

I really should have put my feet in the water while we were at The Basin - there were a couple of spots that would have worked. Oh well...

Driving on, we turned onto highway 112 going west. We found Beaver Pond but there weren't any beavers! It was very windy.

I turned and took a photo of the scenery behind me.

We found the Swiftwater Covered Bridge near the intersection of highways 112 and 302. This was built in 1849.

The Swiftwater Falls were under the bridge. Ray hiked a little further down but I didn't like the footing.

I looked for an alternate path and got a little closer. There was a lady panning for gold (I assume?!) just a few feet from where Ray was taking pictures. 

Just a little further down the road, we found some guys with sluice boxes set up. Maybe there really is gold in those White Mountains!

We turned onto highway 302 and stopped to see the Bath Covered Bridge built in 1832. Most of the bridges are 50' - 300'. This is much longer at 374' 6".  

I wanted to be sure you read the sign at the top of the bridge: "One Dollar Fine to drive any team faster than a walk on this bridge". Ray drove slowly across hoping not to get fined!

I tried a panoramic shot.

On the far side of the bridge in the above photo are falls. Notice the iconic white church in the background.

We had hoped to stop at The Brick Store in Bath - the oldest general store. Sadly, it closed January first. 

We went on to Littleton and found a park for a late lunch.

Heading toward 'home' on highway 302, we stopped at The Rocks Estate. I guess I was more interested in the views than the buildings.

A panoramic shot to the north, I think.

The flowering trees are blooming here and the wildflowers are just beginning to appear. The New Hampshire state flower is the purple lilac and they are now blooming. And I love the smell.

Tomorrow is a travel day. We are headed to Maine.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A fun day in the White Mountain National Forest

Today was gorgeous - lots of sun, warm temperatures, and beautiful scenery. We left 'home' and drove south to North Woodstock, NH, where we picked up the Kancamagus Highway (highway 112) to Conway, NH.

We stopped at some scenic overlooks.



Eventually we arrived at Sabbaday Falls. The hike up was easy and less than 1/2 mile. We walked along a beautiful  stream

and eventually reached the falls. This falls makes a right turn so you can't get a full picture of it.

At one point I just took a photo up through the trees.

This is that same stream as we hiked down.


Next stop was Rocky Gorge, a very scenic area close to the highway. The stream here was more like a river - much wider.


Just down the road, we stopped by the Lower Falls. There were many falls and people swimming in some of the "pools" or just getting wet. Many had lawn chairs and were enjoying the day.

With this view, I took off my hiking boots and socks and soaked my ankle. It was like an ice bath! I remember soaking our feet in mountain lakes many years ago when we lived in Colorado. It was very refreshing for tired toes. Today was no different and it really helped the swelling. 

We had lunch at the Lower Falls

and then saw this inukshuk on a boulder by the water. The traditional meaning of the inukshuk is "Someone was here" or "You are on the right path." We feel we are definitely on the right path!



We drove across the Albany Covered Bridge built in 1858.

Just outside of Conway, we drove across the Saco River Covered Bridge built in 1890.

We enjoyed seeing Conway and North Conway. We stopped and walked a couple of blocks in North Conway - I loved the Five and Dime Store, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. It reminded me of the stores I loved when I was young.

We continued on our trip by driving north and west on Highway 302. We only made one stop and that was at Silver Cascade. This waterfall started way high and made its way down the rocks. It was right by the highway.

Our trip was around 100 miles and took us about 7 hours. Of course we spend lots of time taking pictures. Even though you are seeing my photos taken with my iPhone, is it obvious to you that Ray loves to photograph water?  

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